A Little Party

The Little Room, a groovy new social space in the basement of Chase Hall, is impressive, but the name is a bit confusing. It’s actually three rooms — one for dancing, one for schmoozing, and one for pingpong and pool — and none of them is small.

In fact, Little refers not to size but to largesse. Trustee William E. Little Jr. was a key financial supporter of the project that transformed the old game room into this space suitable for your tonier sorts of party, not to mention tango classes and, once per semester, the College Store’s textbook rush.

Illustration by Marty Braun.

The renovation cost about $100,000. Dance room amenities include a parquet dance floor; a state-of-the-art DJ sound system, audible from Franklin Street; a projection TV and drop-down screen; and a mood-lighting system complete with disco ball (a sight unseen in Chase for decades).

The game room, a sort of inner sanctum, remains plain. But the lounge is a treat, with nice red walls, futuristic lamps, and comfy sectional furniture covered in a red-brown-gold print. (The furniture has casters, so if you want a new conversation partner, you can just roll away.)

Among students, only seniors can reserve the space, and this policy plus the Little Room’s ambience have made for trouble-free festivities, explains Jessica Mellen, an assistant in the student activities and residential life offices.

Mellen, a 2005 Connecticut College grad, points to typical college keggers where “everyone’s either squished up near the tap or they’re dancing and it’s dark and hot.” By contrast, the Little Room’s diverse spaces encourage all sorts of socializing.

“Someone who’s not a big partier can come and still have a good time,” she says. “People can sit and chat and feel comfortable. You can actually hear a conversation here.”